Protecting Children from Bullying at School
We've All Seen Him
When Bullying Goes too Far
Most of you have seen news coverage of the sophomore girl voted to be her class representative for homecoming as a joke. I know about all that media coverage. I know this problem has been going on in this school for over twenty years.
My daughter set up the support page that brought national media to a small town in northern Michigan. She has now made anti-bully her life mission. As a mom I cannot tell you how proud she has made me. As a community member I am now a pariah. My former colleagues believe I should have stopped her.
I could not have stopped my daughter if I had wanted to. She was bullied at this same high school. She has children who have been and are being bullied. It's something that needs to stop everywhere. Not just this small town.
While my daughter came home on Friday night for homecoming for the first time since 1995. She rarely comes home. We meet for lunch and shopping or I go stay with her and her family. She has no love for this town and no desire to visit. She was made to feel so unwelcome at the football game, she went to sit with the opposing team cheering section who came in orange in support of the young girl voted in as a joke.
Does the school know who's behind it? Yes. Will they ever be punished? No. Yet they have a zero tolerance policy for bullying. I'm not sure how exactly that works. Guess it's zero tolerance if you are someone deemed important by the school. My daughter was a member of the band, chamber choir, National Honor Society, and ran varsity cross-county and track all four years. Yet, she was still bullied. No one stepped it to stop it. She was NOT born here. That was the first issue. Her mom was a teacher here, that was a second issue. She was smart, funny, and talented issue three. A "friend" told her that she should move away after graduation. She wasn't born here and would never fit it. It worked. My daughter moved two and a half hours away. She rarely comes home and if she does, it's not for more than a few minutes.
Kids don't realize how bullying really affects the person being bullied. The number of teen suicides from bullying is astronomical. We have to stand up to this epidemic taking children. No I don't mean bullying back. That solves nothing. Bullies were most likely bullied at some point. It's the only way they find importance in their lives. It's the only way they know how to feel good about themselves.
My daughter has set up a bullying awareness website: http://klinecastle.org/ . Please go check it out. Share it with your friends. Get people in your community to look at the school policy so this sort of thing doesn't happen to another student. My heart goes out to the Oklahoma family whose thirteen year old son could take it no more and shot himself last week in front of kids at school. This is what we are striving to prevent. Join us. Take up this cause for your children, nieces, nephews, grandchildren and those who come behind them.
My daughter has learned 'one person' really can make a difference. So as the saying goes: Be the change in the world you want to see.